The Arts

Actors Repertory Company – Martin Crimp’s The City

Actors Repertory Company – Martin Crimp’s The City featured image

Reviewed by Paula Citron

Kudos to Actors Repertory Company for staging the Canadian premiere of Martin Crimp’s provocative The City. Crimp is a new voice in British theatre. He’s clearly interested in innovative form and style. The well-made play is not for him; intrigue, vulnerability, menace, and yes, confusion, are the tools of his trade.

Romanian director Theodor-Cristian Popescu has been imported to stage The City, and his acquaintance with the playwright goes back a long way. Popescu uses stylization and artifice to match Crimp’s cryptic text. Every physical movement counts for something.

These tortured relationships aren’t about realism but about a layered subtext deeper than the earth has strata. Designer Gillian Gallow has given Popescu a clever white box set in which to manoeuvre actors garbed in a brilliant costume design.

The cast is still grappling with Crimp’s uncertainties but manage a galvanizing performance nonetheless.

You’ll be talking about this play all the way home.

The City continues at Berkeley Street Theatre Upstairs until Apr. 3.

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The City
Actors Repertory Company
Written by Martin Crimp
Directed by Theodor-Cristian Popescu
Starring Deborah Drakeford, Peter James Haworth, Janel Porter and Anja Bundy
Berkeley Street Theatre Upstairs, Mar. 19 to Apr. 3, 2010

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